The import of the news was immediately clear to everybody in the room. Iraq, officials have acknowledged, is the single most important dark cloud hanging over this White House. Officials see the continued troubles there — and the sparse good news from there — as the single most important factor in the president's low approval ratings, hobbling his ability to pursue his agenda not only abroad but also at home.
Forget the beheadings and terrorist activity. Zarqawi was holding up the President's push to repeal the Paris Hilton tax.
Of course if he'd taken him out when he had the chance:
Failure to Hit Zarqawi's Camp By SCOT J. PALTROW Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL October 25, 2004; Page A3
As the toll of mayhem inspired by terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi mounts in Iraq, some former officials and military officers increasingly wonder whether the Bush administration made a mistake months before the start of the war by stopping the military from attacking his camp in the northeastern part of that country.
Another factor, though, was fear that a strike on the camp could stir up opposition while the administration was trying to build an international coalition to launch an invasion of Iraq. Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon's chief spokesman, said in an interview that the reasons for not striking included "the president's decision to engage the international community on Iraq." Mr. Di Rita said the camp was of interest only because it was believed to be producing chemical weapons. He also cited several potential logistical problems in planning a strike, such as getting enough ground troops into the area, and the camp's large size.
Now would be a good time to remind the world that the reason the Bush administration didn't take out the terrorist al-Zarqawi five years ago is because they needed to have a terrorist in Iraq in order to justify the invasion and occupation of that country.